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LONG BEACH : Navy Gives Up Land for Community Use

July 14, 1994

Plans for a new high school, a job training center and a homeless facility on 101 acres of land at the Navy's Cabrillo and Savannah housing projects in west Long Beach have crossed another hurdle.

As part of a plan developed by the city of Long Beach and community groups, Navy officials turned over all but 30 acres of the property last week to other federal agencies, which will either run programs on the land or transfer ownership to local groups. City officials expect the remaining 30 acres to be released within a month to make room for a research park to be run by Cal State Long Beach.

The combined project is expected to be worth up to $150 million, said Jerry Miller, manager of the city's economic development bureau.

The first agency expected to begin construction is the U.S. Department of Labor, which plans to run a Job Corps project on 17 acres. It plans to provide housing and vocational training for up to 300 poor youths by the fall of 1996.

The federal Department of Education got 62 acres, which will be turned over to the Long Beach Unified School District for the proposed West Side High School and a future middle school. Architects are working on plans for the high school, and state funds have been set aside to begin demolition of family housing units on the site. However, state money has not been allocated to build the school. The proposed 2,500-student school is needed to keep up with the district's growing student population, district officials said.

Also under the plan, Christian Outreach Appeal, a nonprofit organization, will work with the Los Angeles Mission to open 200 apartments for homeless people over three to five years. The facility will occupy 22 acres of the land.

Last week planners representing the four organizations met to discuss how they could cooperate in developing the property. Proposals ranged from sharing telecommunication equipment to coordinating security and landscaping.

The Navy housing project has remained unused since 1991, due to Defense Department cutbacks. Navy spokesmen said Long Beach's plan to use the property was approved because it involved various community interests.

The university research park proposal has taken longer for the Navy to approve, city and university officials said, because it requires consideration under new federal provisions that allow private companies to lease former naval land. Although the university will provide some of the staff and buildings, corporations will be invited to build testing sites in the park.

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